Drugs & Medications

Drugs & Medications Articles

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is inflammation of the fibrous tissue (tendon) that connects muscle to bone in the elbow. It is a form of tendonitis. In tennis elbow, the tendons on the outside of the elbow (the lateral epicondyle) are affected. In golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis), another form of tendonitis, the tendons on the inside of the elbow are affected. The inflamed tendons may be strained or have tiny tears caused by overusing the muscles that control the wrist and fingers. (Locked) More »

High Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia)

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that occurs naturally in the body. It performs several vital functions. It is needed to make the walls surrounding the body's cells and is the basic material that is converted to certain hormones. Your body makes all the cholesterol you need. You need only a small amount of fat in your diet to make enough cholesterol to stay healthy. The fat and cholesterol you eat are absorbed in the intestine and transported to the liver. The liver converts fat into cholesterol, and releases cholesterol into the bloodstream. There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol). High levels of LDL cholesterol are linked to atherosclerosis, which is the accumulation of cholesterol-rich fatty deposits in arteries. This can cause arteries to narrow or become blocked, slowing or stopping the flow of blood to vital organs, especially the heart and brain. Atherosclerosis affecting the heart is called coronary artery disease, and it can cause a heart attack. When atherosclerosis blocks arteries that supply blood to the brain, it can cause a stroke. (Locked) More »

Pubic Lice Or Crab Lice

Pubic lice or crab lice are tiny insects that infest a person's pubic hair, although they also can be found on facial hair, armpit hair and eyelashes. The insects look like crabs, and a person with these lice often is said to have "crabs." Their claws let them grasp hairs so they can both move around and remain on their human host. Crab lice, like all lice, feed only on their host's blood. (Locked) More »

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing and dividing. Chemotherapy drugs are also called anti-cancer drugs. Chemotherapy drugs can shrink or limit the size of cancerous tumors. They may also prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. There are more than 80 anti-cancer drugs. Cancer treatment often requires a combination of two or more different drugs. Cancer specialists design chemotherapy plans based on the cancer being treated and how far the cancer has spread. (Locked) More »

Throat Culture

A throat infection with streptococcus bacteria (called strep throat) needs to be treated with an antibiotic. A throat culture is the traditional test used for identifying streptococcus bacteria on your throat surface. Throat cultures also can identify some other bacteria that can cause sore throat. (Locked) More »

Pain relief, opioids, and constipation

As we age, pain and pain control become an important issue. Many of the conditions that cause pain disproportionately affect people starting at about age 65. In some surveys, half of respondents ages 60 and older have said that they suffer from chronic pain. About 70% of cancer deaths occur in people ages 65 and older, so cancer pain is frequently the older person's problem. Several of the conditions that can prolong or amplify pain, such as insomnia, become more common with age. And as age makes our mental and physical health more tenuous, our ability to weather the slings and arrows of pain diminishes too. All of this puts a premium on effective pain treatment in older people. But there's a catch, because the most effective painkillers available have side effects that occur more often and more severely in older people. More »

Going Safety of over-the-counter sleeping pills

Many people wonder about over-the-counter (OTC) medications like Tylenol PM that combine a pain reliever and a sleep aid. These pills help many get to sleep, but is it a good idea to keep on taking them? The sleep-inducing ingredient in Tylenol PM is diphenhydramine, an antihistamine. People take antihistamines for hay fever or cold symptoms, but doctors have known for a long time that they also make people drowsy. Other nighttime pain relievers (Alka-Seltzer PM, Excedrin PM) contain diphenhydramine, and it's the only active ingredient in OTC sleeping pills like Sominex and Simply Sleep. Sominex and the allergy-relief version of Benadryl have exactly the same active ingredient: 25 milligrams of diphenhydramine. Dr. David White, director of the Sleep Disorders Program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, is not a fan of the antihistamines. He says they leave many people feeling groggy and tired rather than rested. And true to their anti–hay fever effects, they dry out the nose and mouth. More »

Possible suicide risk in children treated with SSRI’s—TheFamily Health Guide

No one wants his or her child to be unhappy, let alone clinically depressed. So when a diagnosis of childhood depression surfaces parents may be tempted to go along with a doctor's suggestion or even ask the doctor for a prescription of antidepressants for the child. But what is supposed to help may actually end up causing harm. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning of a possible suicide risk in children and adolescents treated with a certain class of antidepressants that includes Prozac and Paxil. The available data from clinical trials suggest selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be associated with an increase in suicidal behaviors and attempts shortly after the start of treatment. Although Prozac is the only SSRI known to have a benefit in children and approved for such use by the FDA, other drugs in this class may be prescribed "off-label" at a physician's discretion. Already the British counterpart of the FDA recommends against using SSRIs in children. And recently, a review in the British journal The Lancet showed Prozac is the only SSRI not associated with negative outcomes in children. The review involved an analysis of data from published and unpublished studies. When comparing data from studies published in medical journals, all the SSRIs offered a greater benefit than risk. But when unpublished studies, which tend to have negative results, were also included they showed that the risks outweighed the benefits for all the SSRIs except Prozac. More »

Importing Prescription Drugs

The lure of cheaper prescription drugs is driving many Americans to Canada or other countries. By either a bus trip north or Internet and mail-order pharmacies, an estimated one million Americans are finding ways to reduce their medical costs. Prices for prescription drugs in Canada can be less than half as much as the cost in the U.S. , so it's not just penny-pinchers interested in this trend. Even a few states and cities are looking into purchasing drugs across the border for their employees to help relieve their budget woes. Springfield , Mass.w, already has such a program in place. Canadian drugs prices are so much lower due to government price controls. But taking advantage of our thrifty neighbors to the north is actually illegal, according to a law against importing prescription drugs. For the most part, customs agents have let this transgression by individuals slip by them without notice. Some lawmakers and states, under pressure from their constituents, are pushing to have the law rewritten to allow Americans to buy cheaper drugs out of the country. For now, though, the current administration has no plans to allow this. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even gone so far as to say they would consider legal action if cities and states defy the ban. With the help of a federal judge, the FDA recently shut down a pharmacy chain that imported Canadian prescription drugs. American drug companies are concerned about this trend as well. Their U.S. prices are set high, in part, to defray their revenue loss because of Canadian price controls. To protect their income at home, some drug makers are beginning to curb the ability of Canadian pharmacies to buy their drugs. They are also imposing restrictions on the sale of their drugs out of the country. These strategies have actually begun to affect the price of drugs in Canada . More »

Drug Expiration Dates — Do They Mean Anything?

With a splitting headache, you reach into your medicine cabinet for some aspirin only to find the stamped expiration date on the medicine bottle is more than a year out of date. So, does medicine expire? Do you take it or don't you? If you decide to take the aspirin, will it be a fatal mistake or will you simply continue to suffer from the headache? This is a dilemma many people face in some way or another. A column published in Psychopharmacology Today offers some advice. It turns out that the expiration date on a drug does stand for something, but probably not what you think it does. Since a law was passed in 1979, drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products. This is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug. More »